Stereolithography, one of the oldest and most established 3D printing technologies
- February 5, 2019
- Posted by: Chase Gregory
- Category: Emerging Technology
Stereolithography (SL), the first 3D-printing technology, has seen continued innovation in equipment, materials, and application know-how over the last 30 years and has one of the largest globally installed bases of all additive-manufacturing technologies. However, SL technology, even in its current state of advanced development, has often taken a backseat to news generated by the wide array of emerging AM technologies.
Photo Caption: Improved SL material options from companies such as DSM Additive Manufacturing has helped the industry produce more complex and mechanically capable parts.
Today’s stereolithography technology and equipment capability exceeds many ingrained perceptions of SL as a prototyping-only solution. The accuracy, precision, smooth surface and full density of SL produced parts, consistency of properties across all axis, diversity of build sizes, and the ability to access one of the widest ranges of material properties of any AM process has, indeed, made SL the most widely used AM process for concept models, form, fit and function prototype parts.
These same characteristics have led to the expansive use of stereolithography for tooling and patterns: investment casting, RTV tooling (also known as urethane molding), thermoforming and injection molding. In fact, a substantially greater percentage of all photopolymer materials sold for SL are used for tooling and patterns than any other single application.
Building on Fresh Dimensions in Stereolithography to Benefit Commercial 3D Printing
Assessing the international SL market in 2017, there was a need for further differentiating product offerings beyond the traditional production customer. The UnionTech PILOT commercial series, with pricing beginning under $100,000.00 is intended to avail the benefits of stereolithography to a broader base of users.
Photo Caption: Automotive part being produced on UnionTech’s new PILOT 450 with build envelope and 450 mm x 450 mm x 400 mm (17.7 in. x 17.7 in. x 15.7 in.); respectively. Exceptionally smooth sidewalls are produced at layer thicknesses ranging from 50 microns to 150 microns.
The PILOT series uses any commercially qualified 355 nm UV photopolymer in applications ranging from investment and urethane casting patterns, rapid tooling, metal cladding and the full range of prototyping and end use applications.
The PILOT commercial series is intended for use in laboratory, academia, and internal/external service providers who can benefit from the diversity of available applications, accuracy, part aesthetics, and the range of material capabilities of industrial strength (322nm UV).
To learn more about the UnionTech stereolithography equipment contact Nanette: